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   Re: [xml-dev] Registered namespace prefixes

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"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> ...
> Mostly I'm just fed up with people who can't seem to recognize that
> namespaces incur real costs on a lot of different kinds of XML
> processing. Fortunately, that's not everyone.

one objects, that, as soon as a serialized prefix:local-part acts as a surrogate for an universal name, to process xml is no longer to process "text". but then, in some sense, this has always been true. without namespaces.

somehow it does not strike anyone as remarkable when the xml recommendation says

"A parsed entity contains text, a sequence of characters , which may represent markup or character data.] [ Definition : A character is an atomic unit of text as specified by ISO/IEC 10646 [ISO/IEC 10646] (see also [ISO/IEC 10646-2000] ). Legal characters are tab, carriage return, line feed, and the legal characters of Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646."

after all, "text" is "text", no? but then, at least with respect to xml processors built in java, there's this passage in "The Java TM Virtual Machine Specification, Second Edition ", section 4.4.7 which describes how string constants - often used to model "text", are represented persistently. it begins

"The CONSTANT_Utf8_info structure is used to represent constant string values.

UTF-8 strings are encoded so that character sequences that contain only non-null ASCII characters can be represented using only 1 byte per character, but characters of up to 16 bits can be represented. All characters in the range '\u0001' to '\u007F' are represented by a single byte:

..." (i leave it to the reader to imagine the rest.)

in other words, there is no ideal text. yet no one objects. i suspect, if java were to require all applications to contend with its persistent utf-8 encoding, rather than to express operations in terms of charAt, indexOf, and opaque characters, one would hear the objection, "people can't seem to realize, that unicode incurs real costs ...", but it doesn't, and no one objects.

the same situation applies to universal names, "scoped namespaces", bound prefixes, and etc. it would be more productive to identify the inadequacies in the representations used to model them than to try to trace representational artifacts back to the semantics of namespaces.



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